Hendrickson breaks ground on Kentucky plant

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Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher joined Hendrickson officials Monday, Jan. 22, in breaking ground for a $24.3 million trailer suspension plant in Pulaski County. Expected to open this summer and bring 120 new jobs, the plant will occupy a 160,000-square-foot facility located on 19 acres in Somerset’s Valley Oak Industrial Park, where it will produce trailer axles and trailer air suspensions.

“I congratulate the Somerset community on its attraction of Hendrickson,” said Fletcher. “There is no doubt that Hendrickson will be able to attract talented and highly skilled workers from the entire region, enabling them to surpass its already high expectations for this new facility.”

Somerset will be Hendrickson’s second facility in Kentucky. In 1998, Hendrickson Truck Suspension Systems opened a plant in Lebanon. “Hendrickson is excited about coming to the Somerset community,” said Gary Gerstenslager, Hendrickson president and chief operating officer. “We would like to thank the state of Kentucky and the Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation for all their support. We look forward to working with this community.”

Perry Bahr, vice president and general manager of Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems, added, “Hendrickson maintains a reputation in the industry for producing dependable, high-quality products, which is a reflection of our employees. The people in this area exhibit these same values, which is why we are excited about coming to the Somerset community.”

The Somerset plant becomes the sixth manufacturing plant for Canton, Ohio-based Hendrickson Trailer Suspension Systems, a business unit of Itasca, Ill.-based Hendrickson. Other trailer suspension facilities include a plant and research and development center at Canton; plants in Mitchell, S.D., Lebanon, Ind., Clarksville, Tenn., and Lugoff, S.C.; and distribution centers in Canada and Mexico.

“I would like to thank Hendrickson for this new investment and all those that worked so hard to bring it to reality,” said Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler. “This project will provide terrific employment opportunities for dozens of families in the region and inject a significant investment into our community.”

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved Hendrickson for tax benefits up to $2.4 million under the Kentucky Industrial Development Act, an incentive program designed to attract and expand manufacturing operations in the state.